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Subject: GMLRS- now with >90km range...
doggtag    11/6/2009 12:40:10 PM
A recent Lockheed Martin GMLRS milestone/record was set, a 92km range... ( http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/press_releases/2009/MFC_110509_LockheedMartinsGuided.html ) Lockheed Martin?s Guided MLRS Reaches New Distance Record In Successful Test DALLAS, TX, November 5th, 2009 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] successfully fired a U.S. Army Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System ( http://www.lockheedmartin.com/products/GuidedUnitaryMLRSRocket/index.html ) rocket 92 kilometers in a recent test at White Sands Missile Range, NM. The flawless test highlighted recent product improvements of this battle-proven system to give it a longer reach, maintaining its accuracy and effectiveness while minimizing potential collateral damage. Firing crews for the launch were from the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery from Fort Lewis, WA. This test firing of a unitary GMLRS met all mission objectives, which included: ? Verify production of GMLRS and HIMARS production lines; ? Validating rocket and launcher reliability; ? Proving performance of system software; and ? Obtaining performance, technical and reliability data. ?Lockheed Martin is constantly improving its products to give our customers more value and enhanced capabilities,? said Scott Arnold, vice president for Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. ?Operational feedback from deployed forces is providing us valuable insight so we can enhance our systems? capabilities to better support the service members we rely on to defend our nations? frontiers.? GMLRS is a combat-proven evolutionary family of rockets that also scored numerous successes again in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, where more than 1,200 have been fired by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, and British Army artillery in Afghanistan and Iraq. The GMLRS system, in combat, has maintained a reliability rating of over 98 percent. GMLRS is the world?s premier long-range rocket artillery round designed specifically for destroying high-priority targets at ranges of 70 km and beyond. Successfully employed in both urban and non-urban environments, it is able to operate in all climate and light conditions while remaining beyond the range of most conventional weapons. Each GMLRS is packaged in a MLRS launch pod and is fired from the MLRS Family of Launchers. The GMLRS rocket used in this test was fired from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher, the newest member of the MLRS launcher family. HIMARS can accommodate the entire family of MLRS munitions, including all variants of the Guided MLRS rocket and Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles. Designed to enable troops to engage and defeat artillery, air defense concentrations, trucks, light armor and personnel carriers, as well as support troop and supply concentrations, HIMARS can launch its missiles and move away from the launch area before enemy forces locate the launch site. HIMARS can be transported by C-130 ?Hercules? aircraft, which allows HIMARS to be deployed into areas inaccessible to heavier launchers, and is a force multiplier to the units it supports. GMLRS is an international cooperative program among the United States, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. Other international customers include the United Arab Emirates and Singapore. ------------------------ Hmmm,....now 90km is achievable, 100km can't be far behind. If 10-inch main body diameter ESSMs can quadpack to arm a large number of naval vessels, so should these be able to, also. A ship-mounted MLRS derivative is looking more and more appealing, especially with that 90kg unitary warhead...
 
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sinoflex       11/6/2009 4:13:33 PM

If 10-inch main body diameter ESSMs can quadpack to arm a large number of naval vessels, so should these be able to, also.
A ship-mounted MLRS derivative is looking more and more appealing, especially with that 90kg unitary warhead...
An intriguing idea and an effective way to deliver offshore fire support.  But does the MLRS have the ability to transition to horizontal flight from a vertical launch? 
 
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WarNerd       11/7/2009 5:33:53 AM

If 10-inch main body diameter ESSMs can quadpack to arm a large number of naval vessels, so should these be able to, also.

A ship-mounted MLRS derivative is looking more and more appealing, especially with that 90kg unitary warhead...
An intriguing idea and an effective way to deliver offshore fire support.  But does the MLRS have the ability to transition to horizontal flight from a vertical launch? 

The MLRS cannot make quick low altitude turns to horizontal like the ESSMs and SM-2 because it lacks thrust vectoring.  Used as is from vertical launchers with a software patch an MLRS based system would therefore probably have a fairly large minimum range.
 
On the other hand, a trainable launcher for a single pack like the HIMARS probably would not require much in the way of stabilization, given that the rounds will correct their course after firing anyway.
 
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doggtag       11/7/2009 3:13:25 PM




If 10-inch main body diameter ESSMs can quadpack to arm a large number of naval vessels, so should these be able to, also.



A ship-mounted MLRS derivative is looking more and more appealing, especially with that 90kg unitary warhead...

An intriguing idea and an effective way to deliver offshore fire support.  But does the MLRS have the ability to transition to horizontal flight from a vertical launch? 




The MLRS cannot make quick low altitude turns to horizontal like the ESSMs and SM-2 because it lacks thrust vectoring.  Used as is from vertical launchers with a software patch an MLRS based system would therefore probably have a fairly large minimum range.

 

On the other hand, a trainable launcher for a single pack like the HIMARS probably would not require much in the way of stabilization, given that the rounds will correct their course after firing anyway.


I wouldn't be looking at this naval-GMLRS as a near-range antiship system, but rather a stand-off land attack system.
Let's face it: impressive as the DDG1000's 155mm AGS system and its big LRLAPs are, these ships aren't going to be built in large numbers, and the LRLAPs aren't going to be built at low costs (a safe wager it will compare closely to, if not exceed, current GMLRS rounds).
Those VLS cells that can quad -pack ESSMs, those are here now, in large numbers, across the fleets of several US allies.
And it's quite obvious that a 90km-capable precision rocket would offer greater capability (range, payload on target) than any ship-mounted heavy guns (76-127mm).
 
I don't really see the need to make the rocket very maneuverable (we're not shooting it at aircraft), so fast-reacting control mechanisms needn't be an issue in the design.
 
Also, a technology port-over using the NLOS-LS/NetFires PAM missile's tri-mode seeker would be a very smart course to pursue, allowing the inbound rocket to more precisely target and adjust trajectory on the downslope (not being solely GPS and INS guided like the current GMLRS are).
This would allow autonomous target tracking by its own means, or offboard target designation by laser via forward controllers.
Again, this is more a land attack concept for taking out static installations, fixed structures, moored ships, and the occasional mobile threat that may have only moved a short distance from where it was originally located as a target.
 
Numerous times here on SP in the past, there were debates discussing long range, large caliber ship gunnery,
and the now-defunct POLAR (Precision Over-the-horizon Land Attack Rocket) derivative of the MLRS was mentioned numerous times,
although supposedly shot down in each and every discussion when it was mentioned the DDG1000s would perform any necessary surface attack at long range targets.
But again, not every US ally is buying into that firepower equation, and these navalized GMLRS should certainly be cheaper than employing larger ASMs (Harpoon, etc), and in greater numbers (no current antiship missiles or any of their land-attack-capable brethren can currently quadpack in any ship in attempts to increase the number of available rounds carried).
 
We can also consider that not all adversaries a given navy will go up against will be equipped with land-based C-RAM systems and naval-mount CIWS that could destroy inbound GMLRS-sized munitions, so there surely would be plenty of situations it could be used in.
 
Still, further development could readily yield a more capable control system to allow improved maneuverability sooner after the vertical launch to enable it to fight against nearer naval targets that can maneuver.
Were renewed interests to be seen in navalizing the GMLRS, Lockheed Martin could find themselves under quick competion if Raythe
 
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Carl S       11/16/2009 3:15:41 PM
 
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